Today, as Mayor of this great city, I will lead our men and women who serve us everyday in the Police Bureau in a different direction.
This afternoon I submitted with the council clerk an executive order reassigning oversight of the Police Bureau to my office, effective immediately.
This morning, I accepted the resignation of Rosie Sizer as Police Chief, effective immediately.
Make no mistake: the more than 1,200 men and women who serve and protect us every day have the potential to make up the finest police force in the country. As with virtually any law enforcement situation, we deploy our officers into complex and challenging situations all the time, asking them to make split-second decisions that sometimes involve life or death consequences. These are remarkably difficult jobs, and I am honored they serve us so well.
Despite the extraordinary efforts of the courageous few who wear the badge, the relationship between the citizens of Portland and their police officers is not what it needs to be. Too many Portlanders express concern about their own safety–not because of crime, but rather fear of their own police force.
Both the public and the force are extremely frustrated. There is an obvious communication problem, and above all, it is a leader’s responsibility to ensure all parties connect.
Chief Sizer served our community well in a demanding position for four years, a term of substantial length.
Commissioner [Dan] Saltzman accepted my offer to oversee the Police Bureau and has done his able best.
But deep frustration and mutual skepticism remains, and it’s my responsibility to address that.
As the commissioner in charge of the Portland Police Bureau, Portlanders know what to expect in me: a strong work ethic, active management, and a track record of getting my bureaus refocused on their core missions.
As police commissioner, my first charge is to establish the bureau leadership necessary to get us back on track. Like it or not, our social safety net has been disintegrating for years. The City of Portland slowly–but surely–finds itself inheriting more and more of the community’s social service needs. The fact is, our 1200 officers on the street have become our community’s social service first-responders.
My incoming police chief understands this reality better than perhaps anybody. More importantly, he is exceedingly well prepared to address this reality.
It is my great honor to introduce you to the City of Portland’s next police chief, Michael C. Reese. We call him Mike.
Mike is a proud graduate of Roosevelt High, and received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and his Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University.
Mike has spent his entire career serving the public. From 1983 to 1989, he worked for the Boys and Girls Club of Portland, where he served as a counselor, program manager, and Director for the Boys and Girls Club in Lents.
He began his career in law enforcement with Multnomah County and later moved to the Portland Police Bureau where he has moved up through the ranks, deploying assertive leadership with a reassuring steady hand.
Mike has been sent in to lead some of the city’s most complicated and challenging assignments. Most recently, he commanded the Central Precinct where he oversaw the development of progressive policies on complex, multi-jurisdictional issues involving homelessness, drug addiction, and mental illness. The public-private partnership he led reduced crime by 35 percent in downtown Portland.
Currently, Mike commands the East Precinct for the Police Bureau–the largest in the city–where he manages more than 200 officers, sergeants, detectives, lieutenants, and non-sworn staff. He oversees the East Precinct Advisory Council, the Prostitution Coordination Team, and the volunteer Reserve Officer and Youth Cadet programs.
In his spare time, he serves as a volunteer member of the Board of Directors for Transition Projects, an agency that provides shelter and housing services for Portland’s homeless. He’s also served on the Irvington Community Association Board of Directors, and the First Christian Board of Directors.
I’m not sure when he sleeps, but he lives in SW Portland with his wife and his three daughters, who are students at Wilson High.
I don’t know anybody in a position of leadership who is liked and respected universally, but Mike may be the closest person I’ve found in all my years of public service.
Portland, I’d like you to meet your new Chief of Police, Mike Reese.
About Portland Police Chief Michael C. Reese
Mike Reese is the Commander of East Precinct for the Portland Police Bureau. He leads the largest of the three precincts in the City of Portland where he manages more than 200 officers, sergeants, detectives, lieutenants and non-sworn staff. Commander Reese also oversees the East Precinct Advisory Council, the Prostitution Coordination Team, and the volunteer Reserve Officer and Youth Cadet programs.
From 2006-2009 Mike was the Central Precinct Commander for the Bureau. In this demanding assignment, he helped lead the expansion of the Service Coordination Team; was the incident commander for numerous high-profile public events; helped formulate progressive policies for the Police Bureau and the City of Portland on complex issues involving homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness; and led a collaborative public-private effort that reduced crime by 35% in downtown Portland.
Mike has served as the Captain of the Drugs and Vice Division where he oversaw successful investigations that culminated in the arrest and conviction of numerous members of illegal drug organizations. He worked in a wide variety of leadership assignments with the Bureau including the Tactical Operations Division, the Transit Police Division, North Precinct, and the Youth Gun Anti-Violence Task Force. He began his law enforcement career as a Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff where he served on the acclaimed Safety Action Teams in Columbia Villa, Rockwood and David Douglas. Mike transferred to the Portland Police Bureau in 1994 when mid-Multnomah County was annexed to the City of Portland.
Mike has lived in Portland for most of his life. He attended public schools in North Portland, and received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Executive Master in Public Administration from Portland State University. Prior to his career in law enforcement, Mike worked for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland from 1983-1989. He served as a counselor, program manager, and as the Director of the Lents Boys and Girls Club.
Mike continues to volunteer in his community as a member of the Board of Directors for Transition Projects, an agency that provides shelter and housing services for homeless people living in Portland. Mike has also served on the Irvington Community Association Board of Directors, the First Christian Church Board of Directors, and as a youth basketball coach. Mike lives in SW Portland with his wife and three daughters. He stays active by competing in triathlons, playing music, and attending school events with his family.
Sam Adams – Mayor of Portland